Don’t do this when designing e-Learning Modules: A Primer
After a recent conversation with a colleague of mine regarding our choice of authoring tools (I much prefer Articulate Storyline 2, he prefers Adobe Captivate). When I asked him why, he replied:
I dislike the their templates. They encourage unskilled and untrained people to believe that with this magical tool and templates, they can create useful content. What results [if any] would be laughable, if learners were subjected to it.
This got me to thinking about common pitfalls that beginner designers commonly make when designing course materials and the importance of using high quality templates and storyboards when designing module assets.
Poor Practices, a PowerPoint:
Jennifer Ritter’s post and PowerPoint over at digitec interactive puts the worst practices in module development into practice. Concrete examples of what is NOT OK in module development. If you have a few minutes, take a look at her slide deck. There’s a warning in the beginning that what you’re going to see, may hurt your eyes. Don’t say you have been warned.
Not Enough Time? Take a look at her chart below.
An executive summary of Worst Practices for e-Learning Development from Jennifer Ritter
So now you know the worst of the worst, how about the best of the best and where to find it?
I’ve been finding the eLearning Heroes community, especially the weekly challenges my go to for the best of the best.
You can find a complete list of the challenges here. (I’d also recommend reaching out to and connecting with David Anderson, Community Manager @ Articulate and awesome designer!)
There are over 100 weekly challenges to draw inspiration from. You can reach out to the designers themselves to ask how they did it. Some of the designers are also generous enough to share their source files with the community.
It’s absolutely amazing to me that our community is willing to share so much. As an independent designer, being able to use such amazing templates to help me produce my product is very special. I’m very impressed with the sense of community here. I’m extremely glad to be a Storyline user and member of the Instructional Design community.